Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Reduce conflict by deterring birds from taking crops using repellents

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Source countries

Key messages

A replicated, randomised and controlled ex situ study in the USA found that dickcissels Spiza americana consumed less rice if it was treated with two repellents, compared to controls. Two other repellents did not reduce consumption as effectively.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, randomised and controlled ex situ study in the USA (Avery et al. 2001) found that dickcissels Spiza americana captured in Venezuela consumed 70% less rice if it was treated with methiocarb (at 0.05 g/g rice) or anthraquinone (0.5 g/g), compared to control (untreated) rice offered previously. Methyl anthranilate and lower doses of anthraquinone did not reduce consumption of rice when treated rice was offered after untreated rice. However, when a choice of rice treated with 0.05% or 0.1% anthraquinone or untreated millet was offered at the same time, birds significantly reduced their consumption of rice, with the preference growing over eight days of testing. Rice was offered over five days (control rice on the first, followed by treated rice), with rice and millet being offered over eight days. The number of birds tested is not provided.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Bird Conservation. Pages 137-281 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Bird Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bird Conservation

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust